The concept of family was
integral to the team, but also
a touchy topic in Avengers Tower.
Phil pointed out to Steve and Bucky
that despite their hardships, they had
better memories of childhood than
most of their teammates did.
Sure, they all had Game Night
to share now, but they needed
more than that to make a life.
"Okay, I get that," Steve said,
rubbing a hand through his hair.
"What do you want me to do?"
"Well, can you think of
any other family traditions
or rituals that you enjoyed
and want to share?" Phil said.
"I ... don't know," Steve said.
"I mean, I remember plenty, but
I'm not sure if any of that would
really appeal to modern folks."
"Sunday dinner," Bucky blurted.
"Everybody used to do that, and
now hardly anyone eats together.
It's bad for family, bad for friends,
when you don't do that. So we
should bring it back. Besides,
everyone on our team loves food!"
"That's a good idea," Steve said.
"People copy what we do, so we
might as well take advantage of it.
We already have Game Night for
the team, but we don't really have
a time to bring in our friends."
"I'm inviting Daveed," said Bucky.
"We could ask Dr. Samson too,"
said Steve. "He already knows
at least half of the team."
"I'll pass the word," Phil said,
taking out his smartphone.
When they went down to
Tony's workshop in person
because he wasn't answering
his phone, Steve explained
the new Sunday Dinner idea.
Tony blinked for a moment.
"Okay. I'm inviting Rhodey."
"Hey, we can call Sam too,"
said Bucky. "He's comfortable
with us even when we're squirrelly."
When Betty heard of the plan,
she said, "I'll ask Tiffany in Publicity.
We need more women around here."
"She is not wrong," Bruce said.
When Sunday rolled around, Steve
and Bucky took over the kitchen. They
made roasted pork with blackberry sauce,
steamed green beans, honey-roasted carrots,
four-cheese macaroni and cheese, and
apple-pear crumble for dessert.
Nobody had asked anyone
to bring a dish, but Sam brought
African pumpkin bread pudding.
Rhodey came in carrying
a huge carton of strawberries
that made Tony laugh for
some reason they didn't
explain to anyone else.
Dr. Samson and Daveed
showed up with a basket
of poppyseed challah rolls.
"Forward ... forward ..."
JARVIS chanted, and
everyone turned to look.
Tiffany was coming in with
a fruit basket so big that
she couldn't see over it.
"That is a lot of fruit,"
Clint said, staring at it.
"It's not like we won't finish
the extra food," Natasha said
with a philosophical shrug.
Bucky clapped his hands.
"Okay, kids, gather 'round,"
he said. "Steve's gonna
say grace, then we'll go
around the table telling
how our week went."
They shuffled around a bit,
since none of the younger folks
were used to the traditional ritual,
but Bucky was an old hand at this.
He got them herded neatly into
their places, just like a handler
managing a team, and Steve
fell in right alongside him.
Exactly where they should be.
* * *
Family traditions are important for human bonding. Sharing meals creates family ties, and Sunday dinner has many benefits.
Among the favorite recipes for Sunday dinner are roasted pork with blackberry sauce and green beans, four-cheese macaroni and cheese, honey-roasted carrots, and apple-pear crumble. Challah is a traditional Jewish bread. Pumpkin is a big part of black cuisine, such as this African pumpkin bread pudding. Pepper is allergic to strawberries, as mentioned in Iron Man 2, so Rhodey brings them to tease Tony because they are always jerking each other's chain.
A fruit basket makes a great host gift for most occasions. Knowing the Avengers, Tiffany went all out. There is about half a bushel of assorted fruit and snacks in that thing. Learn how to make your own fruit basket.